SBS 2008 Backup - Best USB Drives?

Posted on 2013-01-10
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a client that has a Dell PE T310 that has been running great for a few years now, but I need to update their backup solution.
They purchased 2x 1TB Toshiba USB 3.0 drives, but the built-in backup has issues accessing them. there is a CDFS partition on each drive that can't seem to be removed.
Backup Assist does work OK, but I would prefer just using the built-in backup.

I would like to get a couple 2TB drives, USB 3.0 preferred, but I wanted to know what is a good Make/Model for compatibility and reliability?  WD? Seagate?

I know the server doesn't have onboard USB 3.0, and I was thinking about getting something like this:

is that a good idea?

Thank you for your input!
Question by:redheadtech
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LVL 57

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 100 total points
ID: 38764571
Look for drives that describe themselves as "expansion" instead of "backup" and you'll usually be safe. I was a big fan of the GoFlex system from Seagate because it meant that I could outfit it with eSata, USB, or ...if servers ever started shipping with Thunderbolt...that too. Sadly Seagate has been stepping away from that system. Their backup pro drives still have interchangeable connectors, but I have not yet tested any of them with SBS and they may have the same issue with the CDFS partition.

Seagate does still have an expansion drive available and it is USB3 so that is what I've been using. I will buy a backup pro drive one of these days for testing, but haven't felt a driving need to yet.

Assisted Solution

bcruse32347 earned 100 total points
ID: 38764652
Another option:

Have you considered online backup? A service like CrashPlan is inexpensive and backs up changed files as they change limiting the amount of time to complete a backup.

Go to for details. It can be backed up for less than $10.00 a month

Assisted Solution

BadPanda earned 100 total points
ID: 38764878
I would stay away from any USB backup device that has a platform where the backup device sits on, such as the case with Seagates 1 or 2TB drives.  We've had multiple failures with both ourselves and some of our clients due to that connector failing.  Wasn't worth it.
As for bcruse32347's comments, I wholeheartedly agree; online backups are a great option.  However, be careful which plan you consider.  I checked on crashplan and didn't see anything regarding AD and Exchange's backups.  We have been using these guys backups.
They don't throttle, don't charge for extra downloads or restores, had great support, and best of all when I needed to do a restore it worked!  I destroyed my AD and had to recover, and all my SBS 2011 stuff was there.  They have a free trial (15-days I think.)
Whoever you use, if you use an online backup, make sure they have free support.
Optimizing Cloud Backup for Low Bandwidth

With cloud storage prices going down a growing number of SMBs start to use it for backup storage. Unfortunately, business data volume rarely fits the average Internet speed. This article provides an overview of main Internet speed challenges and reveals backup best practices.

LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 200 total points
ID: 38765788
There is an SBS USB backup drive compatibility list/wiki to which you may want to refer:

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38784839
Thanks for the comments - I am waiting to hear back from CrashPlan to see what all their "Pro" backup includes for SBS 2008. <br />I still really like the idea of a USB drive that is available on hand in need of recovery :)
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38785150
The problem with an on-line backup if you need a full restore is it can take days or even weeks to download everything.   Also databases with plans like Crashplan are not practical or even possible because of the size of the file.

We usually use both USB for full system backup, and on-line for a second copy of critical, non-data base data.

The top on-line backups like those offered by Iron Mountain, do bit level backup so databases are possible, and also in a disaster recovery situation they ship you by courier a server preloaded with your data so that you can copy it over.  Of course the cost is about 10 times that of folk like CrashPlan.

Expert Comment

ID: 38785962
Again, check with Online Backup USA.  Their backup software backs up online and to a local drive or network location.  We backup our SBS 2011 server online and to a share across the network on our file server.  
When we used Iron Mountain they were great...but pricey.  They took our tapes offsite weekly and rotated out our tapes.  It cost a pretty penny, but there were never any problems.
Let us know what you find!

Author Comment

ID: 38789048
I will defiantly check out OnlineBackupUSA as I am just located about 15 minutes north of their Bellingham location!

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